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Wars - Revolution and Restitution is June Moss' cry of grief after her mother died in 1993. Through poetry, Moss expresses feelings that had long been buried in her psyche but then spontaneously surfaced and "seemed to write themselves...." Moss addresses war, capitalism, empires and our unfair class systems past and present which we inherit from birth. The poems are full of anger and frustration at the inequalities and iniquities that continue to beset our societies. They are not calm bed-time reading, but Moss' deeply inspirational belief and drive for a fairer and more fulfilling existence for all compel us to read on.
Further social comment, this time within the British class system, lies within George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier and Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway. Orwell describes the daily struggles of the unemployed and working poor in the industrial North during the Great Depression while Woolf’s protagonist is the very wealthy Mrs. Dalloway whose internal ruminations and tensions, while burdensome, do not require her to worry about where the next meal is coming from.
For those with the inclination for self-improvement and happiness, Rosicrucian Dawn directs us along a mystical path with the three foundational texts that form the philosophy of the 'Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross'. A more pragmatic approach, but one that nevertheless requires an equal level of discipline, is Schopenhauer’s Freedom of the Will and Counsels and Maxims. Arthur Schopenhauer made his mark in the mid-nineteenth century by a fearless insistence on addressing realities rather than abstract ideas, an approach which invited as much heated criticism as it did respect. A blind, fundamental force in nature called “Will” is, he argues, at the bottom of our feelings of unhappiness, although without it, mankind would not have evolved, would not be self-aware. Because Will is forever manifesting as desires it often brings pain. The only way for a wise man to achieve relief from such suffering, argues Schopenhauer, is for him to renounce the impulses of the Will and so control its negative influence over his wellbeing.
Last on our list are two “unputdownables”. First of all, we have Rhinegold, a stirring tale of gods, dwarves and heroes, of magic, forbidden passion, treachery and the redeeming power of selfless love. Drawing from the rich source of Germanic mythology, it is a saga that inspired many later well-loved books, including J. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. And what more talented artist to vivify Richard Wagner’s prose than Arthur Rackham, with 35 full-page illustrations. The other compelling classic is the peerless Sherlock Holmes on another of his sleuthing missions in The Sign of the Four. The story has everything – a beautiful damsel in distress, mysterious disappearances, a murder, a strange and lustrous pearl, a peculiar map, four desperate villains and an exotic treasure. Smiling superiorly through it all, our inimitable hero successfully cuts through the puzzling morass of conflicting clues.
Below is our full list of new releases, with links to Amazon UK. The titles are also listed on Amazon US and Australia and other online book sellers.
FREEDOM OF THE WILL; and COUNSELS AND MAXIMS
One of nineteenth century's greatest philosophers, Arthur Schopenhauer made his mark by a fearless insistence on addressing realities rather than abstract ideas, an approach which invited as much heated criticism as it did respect.
In The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims, Schopenhauer discusses a range of topics - among them, possessions, reputation, sexual passions and religion - and presents a stark analysis of the human condition before offering an equally bold solution to optimise happiness. His pragmatic approach is based on his concept of a force in nature he calls "will" which he sees as the fundamental reality of the world. This blind, irrational imperative continually struggles to realise itself and in so doing the organism evolves, producing - in the case of man - self-aware intelligence by which Will became conscious of itself. Unfortunately for human happiness, Will is forever manifesting as desires and its relentless drive more often than not brings pain. The only way for a wise man to achieve relief from such suffering, argues Schopenhauer, is for him to renounce the impulses of the Will and thereby control its negative influence over his wellbeing.
These are two provocative works, made all the more readable by Schopenhauer's pungent wit and animated style.
Aziloth Books' edition of The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims includes a lucid appraisal of Schopenhauer's philosophy by translator T. Bailey Saunders.
The Rosicrucians burst upon European consciousness some 400 years ago with the publication of three 'manifestos', causing consternation throughout the continent and promulgating ideas that remain potent to the present day.
The Fama Fraternitatis tells the story of the enigmatic C.R.C. who journeyed to Jerusalem and thence to fabled Damcar in Arabia, where he sought, and was instructed in, the sacred knowledge of the sages. Returning to Europe by way of Egypt and Fez, he founded a fraternity to both freely heal the sick, and to spread the mystical teachings throughout the world. Such were the 'The Brothers of the Rosy Cross'.
The Confessio Fraternitatis is in essence both an extension and a justification of the brotherhood's spiritual beliefs and earthly aspirations as described in the Fama. A New Dawn was heralded, which would bring the 'Reformation of Mankind'. This was heady stuff, revolutionary for its time, and proclaimed at the height of the Inquisition's powers. The manifestos set many cities and towns in a ferment.
Less revolutionary in tone, and the longest of the three documentsThe Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutzis sometimes considered merely as 'Fantasy Fiction', but is regarded by those with deeper spiritual knowledge as a detailed allegorical description of mystical initiation.
Rosicrucian Dawn is required reading for all those who hope to understand the founding philosophy that lies behind the 'Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross', its offshoots, and many of today's New Age beliefs.
RHINEGOLD – The Valkyries; The Ring of Nibelung. Vol. I
The Ring of the Nibelung is Wagner's gripping tale of Gods, giants, dwarves and heroes, of High Magic, forbidden passion, treachery, and the redeeming quality of selfless love. A homage to Germanic heritage and mythology, the saga has inspired many, many later books, including J.R.Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.
The 35 full-page illustrations by the inimitable Arthur Rackham both enhance and inform Wagner's stirring prose, vivifying this entrancing mythic vista of Gods, Dragons and Heroes.
This is Orwell's graphic and harrowing account of working life in England's industrial North during the 1930's Great Depression. He spent two months living with the unemployed and working poor, sharing their meals, lodgings and bleak future, their horrendous working conditions and starvation-level dole. With brutal honesty, he confronts the cramped, insanitary slums, industrial accidents, eye-watering pollution, the malnourished, rickets-prone children, and the devastating psychological and spiritual effects of unemployment. This is furiously honest investigative reporting, of a kind rarely achieved by today's politically-correct 'journalists'.
Part Two of the book looks at Socialism as a solution to working-class repression, and tries to analyse why it is rejected by most working people. Class, Orwell decides, is the central problem. Socialists who are allowed a voice in society are invariably middle-class and - despite championing the proletariat - they remain (because of their upbringing) personally averse to associating with 'the poor' - an aversion not lost upon the workers, who also find other middle-class fads ('non-smoking vegetarians') not to their taste.
The Road to Wigan Pier is uncannily relevant to today's societal problems. Orwell both points up the seemingly immutable injustice of Britain's class divisions, and gives the lie to the pernicious myth of 'white privilege'.
Wars - Revolution and Restitution is June Moss' cry of grief after her mother died in 1993. Through poetry, Moss expresses feelings that had long been buried in her psyche but then spontaneously surfaced and "seemed to write themselves...."
Moss addresses war, capitalism, empires and our unfair class systems past and present which we inherit from birth. She expresses thoughts and feelings that are part and parcel of us all as humans: death, loss of a mother, regrets, friendship and the power of birth and renewal. The book is illustrated with a selection of the author's paintings, which reflect her respect for nature and the people sustained by it but also, as the cover of this book reveals, the suffering of humanity. As a student of the Royal College of Art, her skills speak for themselves.
These are powerful poems of anger and frustration at the inequalities and iniquities that continue to beset our societies. They are not calm bed-time reading, but Moss' deeply inspirational belief and drive for a fairer and more fulfilling existence for us all, are compelling.
Virginia Woolf's novel follows a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, an outwardly self-assured London socialite, as she prepares for her party that evening. Mrs. Dalloway's interior monologue flits from preoccupation with the details of her party to memories as a young girl some thirty years ago, and to the subsequent choices she made. She reveals a private umwelt that is torn between the stultifying conventional existence she has chosen to lead and what might have been had she accepted the marriage proposal of bohemian Peter Walsh.
On the same day in another part of London - and unknown to Mrs. Dalloway until near the end of her party - is one Septimus Warren Smith, a shell-shocked casualty of the Great War from a class far below hers. Smith's reality is, sadly, more internal than external and the thoughts that beset him on this sunny June day in 1923 are dark and foreboding. Woolf is here very likely drawing on her own mental breakdowns when portraying Smith's fractured world.
The inner ruminations of these and other characters in Mrs. Dalloway underline just how little of ourselves most of us allow to be exposed.
First published in 1890, the second of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, The Sign of the Four is a classic of detective fiction and a forerunner of this now-ubiquitous genre. The story has everything - a beautiful damsel in distress, mysterious disappearances, a murder, a strange and lustrous pearl, a peculiar map, four desperate villains, an exotic treasure and, above it all, smiling superiorly as he moves with sure-footed confidence through the puzzling morass of conflicting clues, the inimitable Sherlock Holmes, investigator extraordinaire.
This edition comes complete with the original 24 pen-and-ink illustrations by Richard Gutschmidt.